Colombo: Sri Lankan President Mahinda
Rajapaksa has made it clear that any political solution to the
ethnic issue should be preceded by consensus among Tamil
"Some (Tamil parties) had already responded positively.
There are more parties than one representing Tamils and we
look forward to consensus among all, especially on aspects of
development," Rajapaksa said here Monday evening, on the issue
of political solution to the ethnic problem.
The President said he also looked forward to a dialogue
with all Tamil political parties.
He stated this during a meeting with the visiting
delegation from the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
(CPA) and the UK led by Labour Party MP Paul Murphy.
On the question of the provincial administration in
Northern Sri Lanka, the CPA-UK delegates were told that the
first priority will be local government elections.
After that, there would be elections to the Northern
Provincial Council, on the lines of the procedure followed in
the East where the LTTE was defeated in 2007, he said.
Rajapaksa said political progress had taken place in the
East, after the defeat of "terrorism" following which
elections were successfully held.
Murphy appreciated the efforts of the Sri Lankan
government in defeating the Tiger rebels.
"All parties in the United Kingdom stand by you and are
ready to help Sri Lanka today," he said.
"We are happy that terrorism has gone away from this
island; that reconstruction, rejuvenation and reconciliation
is the order of the day," said Murphy.
Recalling his earlier visit to Sri Lanka, when he went to
Kilinochchi which was at that time under LTTE control, Murphy
said the situation here was similar to that in the UK which
had won the war in Northern Ireland to secure peace.
The President explained to the delegation that what the
people wanted the most today in the North of Sri Lanka were
the essentials like water, electricity, schools, health
services and education, an official statement said.
"There was a yearning for development among the Tamil
people," Rajapaksa said, asserting that there could be no
development without peace and vice-versa.
On efforts regarding reconciliation, the President told
the delegates of the work being done by the Lessons Learnt and
Reconciliation Commission appointed for looking into the last
phase of the Eelam IV war.